By William Miller
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
OTTAWA, Canada – Abousfian Abdelrazik has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon claiming that they violated his rights as a Canadian citizen when they denied him flying credentials back to Canada after he had been placed on the UN no-fly list at the request of the United States government. He is suing Ottawa for twenty-three million Canadian dollars for a list of charges including false imprisonment, negligence, and breach of his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He further accuses Cannon of misfeasance in public office, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breaches of his rights under the Canadian Charter and is suing him for three million dollars.
Abdelrazik is a Muslim living in Canada with dual citizenship in both Canada and his home country of Sudan. He first came to Canada in 1990 as a refugee in fear of prosecution for his opposition to the Sudan government. He became a Canadian Citizen in 1995. In 2003, Abdelrazik returned to Sudan to visit his sick mother and was promptly arrested by authorities. He was detained for twelve days and later imprisoned for eleven months. Abdelrazik claims he was tortured during his detention and was visited by agents of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service who refused to help him and told him he was no longer wanted in Canada. He claims that while imprisoned in Sudan, Canadian government officials questioned him about his connections to terrorist groups but told his late wife they did not know where he was.
Abdelrazik was released in July of 2004 only to find out he could not return to Canada because his passport had expired while he was in prison and the Canadian government refused to issue him new travel documentation. As a result, he was stranded in Sudan and was ultimately imprisoned again for nine months. Abdelrazik claims he was again visited by Canadian officials during his imprisonment who refused to help him and only wanted to know about his possible connections to terrorist agencies. After his release Abdelrazik was granted safe haven at the Canadian Embassy in Sudan where he remained for over a year. In March 2009 a Canadian Federal Judge ruled that Canada had violated Abdelrazik’s right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by not helping him return to Canada. Abdelrazik was issued an emergency passport and returned to Canada in June.
Abdelrazik is also seeking his removal from the UN terrorist watch list. He admits to traveling to many war torn regions but claims he did so to promote humanitarian efforts. He adamantly denies any connection with terrorist organizations. Canadian federal police and spy agencies have investigated his alleged ties to terrorist cells in Montreal and connections to Ahmed Ressam who is currently in prison for his attempt to bomb an airport in Los Angeles. The RCMP and other agencies however, admit that they do not have evidence to charge Abdelrazik with any crimes and no charges have ever been filed against Abdelrazik for his involvement with any terrorist group.
Abdelrazik does have scarring on his back which is consistent with his claims that he was tortured while imprisoned in Sudan. His allegations that Canadian officials visited him in prison and refused to help him have yet to be proven.
Abousfian Abdelrazik is suing the Canadian Government for failing to help him return to Canada after he became stranded in Sudan. (PHOTO: AFP)
For more information please see:
Globe and Mail – Abdelrazik’s Lost Years – 28 September 2009
AFP – Canadian Torture Suspect Sues Over Alleged Torture in Sudan – 24 September 2009
National Post – Abdelrazik Sues Canada for $27 Million – 24 September 2009
Canada.com – Abdelrazik Demands Canada Remove Him From UN Terror List -23 July 2009